Healthy Boundaries

Speakers at graduation ceremonies often proclaim exuberantly to the graduating students that they can do anything they can dream. Not true! I have what’s called a “lazy eye” that doesn’t see well, even with a corrective lens. With only one good eye (with the help of a corrective lens) I could never have been a fighter pilot, no matter how much I dreamed of being one, no matter how hard I would have pursued it.

We can’t do everything we want to do. We can’t take advantage of every opportunity. We can’t do, and shouldn’t do, everything others want us to do, no matter how much we want to be a people pleaser.

Life is filled with limitations. We deal with practical limitations every day. We limit ourselves to driving on the road, though it curves and zig zags, instead of going off road and taking a straight line through ditches, woods, swamps, and fields. Airplanes seem free to wander around in the wide open space of the sky, but each is limited to an assigned flight path. Trains are only free to go great distances as long as they are limited to traveling on railroad tracks. If a train is freed from staying on the track we call it a derailment, and the train will go no place and cause great harm and destruction.

Each of us has a calling from God that’s defined as much by what we shouldn’t do as it is by what we should do. Sometimes saying “no” to something good is the way to say “yes” to something better. Living a great life means coming to peace with the fact that we must live with limitations.

“The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” Psalm 16:6


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